Johnny Depp has been earning a lot of buzz around his new mobster biopic Black Mass, based on the life of the notorious criminal Whitey Bulger. Some even say Johnny Depp could be up for an Oscar for the role. But, not everyone is happy with the actor’s portrayal of the infamously ruthless gangster — namely the gangster himself, and his former henchman, Kevin Weeks.
The Inquisitr previously reported that Whitey Bulger was completely uninterested in Johnny Depp or Black Mass when it first came out. Then, it was revealed that Whitey Bulger apparently had an opinion about the film after all: he wasn’t happy about it. Now Whitey Bulger’s lawyer, Hank Brennan, has spoken out for his imprisoned client, slamming Johnny Depp and the movie for their supposedly erroneous depiction of Bulger. According to People Magazine, Brennan accused Black Mass of using Bulger’s story to make money, while failing to tell the story accurately.
“Johnny Depp might as well have been playing the Mad Hatter all over again as far as James Bulger is concerned. Hollywood greed is behind the rush to portray my client, and the movie missed the real scourge created in my client’s case, the real menace to Boston during that time and in other mob cases around the country – the federal government’s complicity in each and every one of those murders with the top echelon informant program.”
Whitey Bulger is not the only person who was frustrated with the details of the film. His right-hand man and so-called “enforcer,” Kevin Weeks, spoke to the Daily Beast about the film’s inaccuracies, and complained about the casting decisions, regarding both Johnny Depp and the actor who portrayed him.
“The movie is a fantasy,” he said. “My character looks like a knuckle-dragging moron … The only resemblance [Johnny Depp has] to Whitey’s character was the hairline… And the mannerisms – the way that Whitey talked to us – he never swore at us. In all the years I was with that man, he never swore at me once. We never yelled at each other. The opening scene of me getting beaten up? That never happened… Nothing in the film is chronological, really.”
The director of Black Mass, Scott Cooper, claims to have based his depiction of Whitey Bulger on real, archival footage of the gangster-turned-informant. Both he and Johnny Depp spoke about their plans to approach the character complexly, without romanticizing or vilifying Bulger too much.
“It was really important for me to get that right, but also get the city right and to get the men right who had fostered a lot of heartbreak for the city,” Cooper said. “Emotional wounds have yet to heal.”
Have you seen Black Mass? Did you think Johnny Depp was right to play Whitey Bulger?
[Photos by Paul Marotta/Getty Images, U.S. Marshals Service]